Take a Journey Through
Darkview: Psychosis (Book Excerpt)
Title: Darkview: Psychosis
Author: R.J. Bathgate & M.J. Hall
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Horror
Take a journey into the disturbed, delusional mind of Jack Cyrus … take a journey into Darkview … a small, remote coastal town, deep within the Scottish Highlands. The sleepy, isolated spot bears a sinister, horrific history, shrouded by a chilling secret. A secret one man must unveil, which will ravage his soul … and sanity!
Jack Cyrus is in damnation! After witnessing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, he has become plagued by dark memories and devilish visions, the result of post traumatic stress. Compounding his trauma, he is faced with the sudden death of his wife, from cancer, after returning home to Scotland. Lost and alone, and struggling to forget the horrific circumstances surrounding her passing, Jack has developed schizophrenia, experiencing chaotic, disturbed thoughts and demonic hallucinations.
On the sixth anniversary of his wife’s death, Jack receives a cryptic, hand written letter from her, telling him she is still alive. Suffering and held captive, she pleads with him to return to Darkview, the place she spent her last days, and rescue her from purgatory. Upon arrival in Darkview, strange things start happening, and what appears to be a centuries old mystery, starts unravelling itself. Jack must piece together the clues and lost fragments of his sanity to solve the unravelling mystery. Is any of it real, or is it just a manifestation of Jack's mind, or another facet of his schizophrenia?
Jack awoke with the hot African sun beating down through the window of his tent. It wasn’t the sun that woke him; it was the muffled sound of a nearby radio outside.
Blasting from the radio was one of the many violent propaganda broadcasts by the Hutu Power movement on the station RTLM. For many months, the UN had been on alert, due to the possibility of another civil war breaking out between two ethnic groups. The Hutu people, who made up the majority of Rwanda, and the Tutsi, who were in the minority, but had controlled power in Rwanda for centuries, before being ousted in the 1962 Hutu rebellion.
Earlier that day, the shooting down of the aircraft, carrying the country’s President, resulted in the UN being on high alert. Everyone around the encampment, including Jack, could feel the tension, and were worried that the Akazu, the largest of the Hutu Power groups, was about to fan the flames of another civil war.
‘My fellow Hutus,’ the voice on the radio urgently repeated. ‘This is Akazu, letting you know that living amongst us – as our friends, our neighbours, our wives, and our children – are Tutsi cockroaches, devils trying to outbreed us.’
Jack stood listening, shocked, as the broadcast continued.
‘Do not be afraid. Know that anyone whose neck you do not cut is the one who will cut your neck. Let them pack their bags, let them get going, so that no one will return here to talk, and no one will bring scraps claiming to be flags.’
Jack walked outside. As he looked around, every member of the camp, and locals alike, stood grounded, listening to the broadcast. He looked upon the faces of his colleagues and the villagers. Some of them looked nervous, yet most had a look of dread on their faces, as the RTLM broadcast continued.
‘We must rid this virus called Tutsi from our land. Rise up and kill every one of these cockroaches. This day will be our uprising. This day will be our revolution.’
A young Rwandan girl interrupted the broadcast, when she threw a stone at the radio, causing it to fall off the crate on which it stood and clatter to the ground. Everyone’s attention and eyes fell upon her. She seemed nervous, but unashamed of what she had done. The girl, who looked about 15, was with three girls of similar age.
They slowly began moving away from her, looking fearful.
Jack noticed three local men who worked at the camp, arguing amongst themselves, pointing at the girl. They looked agitated and began raising their voices. Then, one of them drew a machete halfway from its sleeve, edging towards the girl, whilst shouting aggressively in Kinyarwanda, the Rwandan language…
About the Authors
R.J. Bathgate, born and bred in Scotland, is the creator and co-author of Darkview: Psychosis. A father of two, and enormously proud of his heritage, he has studied psychology, social sciences, and is currently working towards an advanced diploma in psychotherapeutic counselling and hypnotherapy. His heart lies with new experiences and an interest into the unknown, particularly with writing. He has travelled the world from the dusty, wildlife-filled plains of Zambia, to the glaciers of Alaska, and the soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies. He is extremely fond of NHL ice hockey, video games, good films, fine wine, and Jack Daniels. He originally wrote Darkview as a screenplay when living in Canada, but upon returning to Scotland, researched mental health issues, namely psychosis and schizophrenia. Inspired by this research, he brought in his lifelong friend, M.J. Hall, to help create a more realistic take on Darkview. The result is a story that combines traditional Scottish history with real life, catastrophic world events, told through the eyes of the protagonist, Jack Cyrus.
M.J. Hall was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, at the turn of the eighties. Despite being born in England, he identifies more with his ‘adopted’ country, Scotland – he’s lived there since he was four, and his late maternal grandfather was Scottish, too. He presently lives in Edinburgh and is currently studying Environmental Science at the Open University, but has always dreamed of a career in music or writing, or both. He is vegetarian, loves animals (especially cats) and is devoted to his black and white moggy, Tahlula. He humbly admits being just a small voice in a big chorus, and his life changed for the better, or at least would never be the same, when his lifelong and best friend – R.J. Bathgate – invited him to collaborate on Darkview.
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Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer